Mannequin: Corps de la Mode

Mannequin: Corps de la Mode, a fashion exhibition organized by Musée Galliera, is currently on show and runs until May 19 2013 at Les Docks (Cité de la Mode et du Design), 34, quai d’Austerlitz, Paris 13e.

Fred’s fashion house model, 1897

Jacques Heim, Fall/Winter 1951, by Henry Clarke

Raphael, S/S 1951, Interfoto Venice

Kate Moss, photographed by Corinne Day, 1990

Kristen McMenamy, photographed by Juergen Teller, 1996

As the body is the genuine core of fashion, the models (whether we’re talking about tailor’s dummies or real women) play a central role in the evolution of fashion. In fact, it’s impossible to understand the evolution of fashion through the decades without considering the bodies that supported, materialized and inspired the most creative designs. The Parisian exhibition focuses exactly on this theme, that’s why I consider it an outstanding fashion statement. The history of fashion records a significant evolution from the tailor dummies designed for various clients, to in-house models (who also evolved from anonymous girls to designer’s muses), to the cover girls and contemporary superstars. Mannequin: Corps de la Mode attempts to catch the essential visual & conceptual shifts in fashion imagery: the elegant figure of the 50s, the powerful, sporty look in the 80s, the heroin chic icons of the 90s, nowadays photoshoped look and the appetite for surgical enhancement.

The exhibition curator – Sylvie Lécallier, an expert on fashion photography at the Galliera Museum in Paris, puts together relevant images, from anonymous photographers to the artists who challenged the role of fashion photography: Horst P. Horst, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Nick Knight, Corinne Day, Juergen Teller etc. The display of  three-dimensional mannequins or mannequin variations (such as Margiela’s  dummy inspired couture-pieces) is mixed with the images of living models (Twiggy, Kate Moss, Kristen McMenamy, etc.). Finally, the fashioned body represents a subtle dialogue between the organic and inorganic, between what’s natural given and culturally constructed.

Monsters in Fashion

From February 13th until April 7th, ATOPOS cvc is presenting its ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion exhibition at La Gaîté lyrique. The craziest, sexiest and most radical monstrous creatures are invading Paris!

Atopos is a non-profit cultural organization based in Athens. Founded in 2003 by Stamos J. Fafalios and Vassilis Zidianakis, Atopos is already a powerful reference in contemporary fashion, collaborating with various designers and artists, for exhibitions, publications, performances and events. In less than 10 years, Atopos CVC (its name denoting the strange, the unwonted, the eccentric and the unclassifiable) is a meeting point for different visual disciplines, gathering rare original creations of contemporary designers. Atopos stands out with their unusual projects focusing on the human figure and its relationship with costume – see RRRIPP! Paper Fashion (now in Germany, Waiblingen), Atopic Bodies, ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion (with the first presentation at the Benaki Museum in Athens, and currently on display in Paris, at La Gaite Lyrique).

Based on an original idea by Vasslis Zidianakis, with the design of Fafalios Stamos, ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion manages a unique combination of  fashion, animation, costume and art. Participating designers and artists reshape the human body and reveal a new universe full of dreams, nightmares and hybrid creatures.  The theme seem very appealing to me, and the 58 exhibitors from around the world, turns it into a stunning cocktail:

Alexander Mcqueen UK, Alex Mattsson SE, Alexis Themistocleous CY, Andrea Ayala Closa ES, Andrea Cammarosano IT, Andrea Crews FR, Bart Hess NL, Bas Kosters NL, Bernhard Willhelm DE, Boris Hoppek DE, Bronwen Marshall UK, Cassette Playa & Gary Card UK, Charlie Le Mindu FR, Chi He CN, Claire Michel FR, Craig Green UK, David Curtis-Ring UK, Digitaria GR, Dr Noki’s NHS UK, Erika Mizuno JP, Freeka Tet FR, Filep Motwary & Maria Mastori CY & GR, George Tourlas GR, Helen Price UK, Henrik Vibskov DK, Heyniek NL, Hideki Seo JP, Isabel Mastache Martinez ES, Issey Miyake & Dai Fujiwara JP, Jean-Paul Lespagnard BE, Josefin Arnell SE, Kim Traeger DK, Leutton Postle UK, Luis Lopez Smith UK, Mads Dinesen DK, Maison Martin Margiela FR, Manon Kündig CH, Marcus Tomlinson – Gareth Pugh UK, Mareunrol’s LV, On Aura Tout Vu FR, Paul Graves US, Pictoplasma DE, Pierre-Antoine Vettorello FR, Piers Atkinson UK, Rejina Pyo KR, Rick Owens US, Rozalb De Mura RO, Shin Murayama JP, Sotiris Bakagiannis GR, Takashi Nishiyama JP, The Brainstorm Design GR, Tracy Widdess CA, Toma Stenko RU, Urban Camouflage DE, Walter Van Beirendonck BE


ObsessionArt Exhibition

ObssesionArt celebrate their 5th Anniversary with an exhibition. The ObssesionArt exhibition is held at 28 Cork Street Gallery London, being opened to visitors from 12 to 17 March 2012. Here’s the full list of exhibitors: John Wellington (New York), Stephen Perry (London), Lee Jones (Liverpool), Hajime Sorayama (Japan), Mick Payton (Birmingham), Dahmane (Paris), Igor Vasiliadis (Ukraine) and Saturno Buttò (Italy). Each photographer and artist are bringing with them their own flair and creativity for making figurative and nude art both poetic and captivating.

For those who are not familiar with, ObssesionArt is a world’s leading online art print boutique, specialized in nude, figurative and erotic art. From drawings to photography, from traditional to alternative contemporary approach, ObsessionArt has developed in the last 5 years a wide range of artistic offers (I’ve posted a small selection of their range below).


Lithograph #40 – Hajime Sorayama

A Country Girl at Heart – Stephen Perry

Acrobat on High Heels – Dirk Westphal

Astride – Marty Provost

Little Beaver – Stephen Perry

Celebrating Alaïa

Groniger Museum is built on the water of the Verbindings Canal in Groningen, a town in the northern Netherlands. And now, the Groniger Museum presents its second Azzedine Alaïa retrospective, open to the public from  11 December 2011 to 6 May 2012. As the exhibition curator, Mark Wilson, pointed out – “Azzedine is one of the last great couturiers working today—I honestly felt I had no choice but to do a second exhibition.”

This retrospective, entitled “Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st Century”, displays the most fantastic fashion creations of designer’s last ten years. No need to talk about Alaïa’ s huge contribution to the fashion world… his form-fitting shapes, sculptural dresses, smart cuts, flawless surfaces. He’s a major couturier (probably the last one still in action), and he’s a rare bird in the fashion landscape, not only for his passion and perfectionism, but also for his personal attitude. His choice to stay away from the contemporary fashion game, his rejection of fast forward systems – it’s all about the wisdom and the honesty of a true createur. Alaïa’s work it’s an artist’s work, it’s all about searching, polishing the shape, experimenting with the fabrics, it’s about permanently exploring the intimate relationship between the dress and the woman’ s body.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is that this exhibition presents not only a bunch of beautiful clothes, but Alaïa’s most important achievement –  simplicity and timelessness.


Wear Me Out

Erwin Wurm is an Austrian sculptor, inspired by popular culture, well known for using everyday objects (furniture, houses, cars, clothes, plastic bottles) for his particular exploration of space, potential form and volume. In his particular quest the human body has a prominent role and is considered as the perfect canvas of experimentation. His art is smart, humorous, interactive.

This summer, Erwin Wurm presented his “Wear me out” project  (29 May to 25 September 2011), an exhibition held in open air at Middelheim Museum of Antwerp. He also invited fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck to collaborate for the occasion.

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Make It Hard

Have you ever questioned yourself about clothes in the world circuit, or textile metamorphosis in our everyday life? I always wonder about these, and then, looking over designer clothes, I’m swinging between delight and disgust.

As I’ve already talked in a former post about Tohoku – destruction and rebirth of the object through Art, now I have the opportunity to point out the reverse . Because for Helmut Lang, the famous Austrian-born designer,  25 years of collections and fashion pieces can be destroyed just-like-that, and turned into something new – sculptures.

A leading figure of 90’s minimalism, Helmut Lang has left a lasting mark on the industry. Following his brand’s acquisition by the Prada Group six years ago, Lang relocated to a Long Island studio to focus on his artistic career. After his official retiring from fashion in 2005, Helmut Lang isn’t a retired at all. Thus, he comes with a solo art exhibition at East Hampton’s Fireplace Project, and be sure he makes it hard.

Having already donated thousands of items from his vast archive to the crème de la crème of fashion and design museums worldwide, the designer-turned-artist has shredded his remaining 6,000 garments to use as raw material for making a series of sculptures. About a dozen stalactitelike pieces are to go on display from July 22 at The Fireplace Project, a gallery in East Hampton, N.Y., in a solo exhibition titled “Make it Hard.” According to writer and creative director Neville Wakefield, who is presenting the exhibition, Lang’s floor-to-ceiling columnar forms — made of scraps of fabrics, fur, feathers, leather, plastic, hair and metal from more than 25 years of fashion collections — erase the past and highlight “the transience of our creative endeavors.” The expo runs through Aug. 8.


Ode to Gaultier

Lately, I’ve seen how all the great designers and idols of my early fashion dreams, are exhibited, one by one, by different museums in the world. Chalayan, Margiela, Yamamoto, McQueen, and now Gaultier. This fact makes me realize that we’re talking about the end of a gorgeous fashion era, the point when you have to stop, to look around, to analyze and move along, to new fashion horizons.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts opened the first international exhibition devoted to the celebrated French couturier- Jean Paul Gaultier, June 17- October 2, 2011.

The exhibition was organized in six sections, mapping the guidelines to Gaultier’s fashion world, from the sidewalk to the catwalk:

The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier/ The boudoir/ Skin Deep/ Punk Cancan/ Urban Jungle/ Metropolis

I’d like to take a look over there, but, surely we will get one in Europe, too.  Soon.

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